Comcast, the biggest U.S. cable-television provider, and PepsiCo Inc.'s Gatorade unit signed an advertising agreement on Monday to develop programming. Gatorade will work with Comcast's on-demand Exercisetv to create a series of sports training programs. Gatorade and Propel will become exclusive sponsors of the sports drink and water category for the network. Exercisetv was launched in January as a partnership with exercise guru Jake Steinfeld.
"Consumers increasingly want choice in their media options, as well as convenience and flexibility in their fitness regime, and that's what exercisetv is all about," said Tom Fox, Gatorade's senior vice president of sports marketing said in a news release. "Having access to fitness and sports
training with VOD, along with tips on proper nutrition and hydration from the Gatorade Sports Science Institute, will give the core Gatorade consumer what they want."
The Gatorade/Propel deal includes product placement and branded educational video segments. While I think this deal is noble, I hope for PepsiCo's sake it was cheap. That's because I don't think in your face placement like this works with today's consumers. This is totally different from the much softer, yet much more effective product placement of having athletes on the sidelines drinking Gatorade. That's what Gatorade has done better than any other product in America, not this. Maybe I'm wrong, let's see how this comes off. I haven't watched exercisetv yet, but New Balance already has a deal for this type of product placement with the channel. I'm predicting watchers see this more as propaganda than effective advertising that makes them want to buy the product.